Lawmakers Agree to $11.6 Million for Mental Health

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By Aaron Hepker

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — State lawmakers have reached a bipartisan deal to provide $11.6 million to counties to fund mental health services in the current budget year.

Sen. Jack Hatch says Tuesday that Republican and Democratic lawmakers have agreed to the funding plan, which will help counties with expenses as the state transitions to a new regional mental health treatment system. The funding for services through June 30 is substantially more than Gov. Terry Branstad proposed, but not as much as counties requested.

The Legislature approved changes to Iowa's system last May, shifting from a system run by counties to a more regional approach in which counties pool their money. The new approach was meant to minimize differences between urban and rural areas.

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